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Sharing food and friendship: the St Vinnies soup van story.

Sharing food and friendship: the St Vinnies soup van story.

In June 1975, the Victorian Society of St Vincent de Paul’s first soup van, a humble old Ford Transit wagon with doors which flew open when they took a corner, started offering friendship and food  to the homeless men, at that time mainly affected by alcohol abuse. It was initiated by a group of young […]

November 6th, 2017 | Posted in Feature,Global poverty,Recent articles by SPC members | Read More »

Be ‘fair dinkum’ about encountering the poor: Pope Francis institutes new World Day of the Poor.

Be ‘fair dinkum’ about encountering the poor: Pope Francis institutes new World Day of the Poor.

John Ferguson. As we approach the seasons of Advent and Christmas, Pope Francis has instituted a new ‘World day of the Poor’, which this year will be celebrated on Sunday 19 November. In his message for the day, Pope Francis says he wants the annual event to be a “powerful appeal to our consciences as […]

November 3rd, 2017 | Posted in Church and Social Justice,Feature,Global poverty,Recent articles by SPC members | Read More »

Wake up, Australia: many people need our aid urgently.

Wake up, Australia: many people need our aid urgently.

Bruce Duncan. Foreign aid is not just a matter of offering charity to people in need overseas. It is very important for our own security and development as a nation. Particularly is this so when climate change is rewriting the rules on how the whole weather system works. The historically unprecedented hurricane and flooding in […]

September 7th, 2017 | Posted in Feature,Global poverty,Stewardship of our planet | Read More »

We can make our society fair.

We can make our society fair.

Peter Whiting. The new minimum wage rate has come into effect on 1 July. The Fair Work Commission (FWC) recently announced an increase of $18.29/hour, or approximately 3.3%. Inevitably, the decision failed to satisfy any of the vested parties within the Australian Industry Group representing employers seeking to limit the increase to $10.10/hour, citing weak […]

July 3rd, 2017 | Posted in Church and Social Justice,Feature,Global poverty,Indigenous Issues,Recent articles by SPC members | Read More »

Ex-prisoners deserve a ‘fair go’ for a new life.

Ex-prisoners deserve a ‘fair go’ for a new life.

Jason Davies-Kildae. A cursory scan of just about any set of prisoner demographics quickly reveals a catalogue of social disadvantage. Our prison populations show disproportionately high numbers of people with health problems, including mental illness, addictions, intellectual disability, and acquired brain injury. Other over-represented groups reflect lifelong social barriers, such as coming from a place […]

July 3rd, 2017 | Posted in Economic issues,Feature,Global poverty,Recent articles by SPC members | Read More »

Child mortality is falling. Gates letter 2017.

Child mortality is falling. Gates letter 2017.

Frances Penington. It’s easy to become overrun by bad news, by reckless and callous policy decisions, and by stories of conflict and horror. Successive cuts to Australian foreign aid mean that our aid now makes up only 0.22% of our gross national income (well below the UN foreign aid target of 0.7%), and the proposed United […]

April 2nd, 2017 | Posted in Feature,Global poverty,Recent articles by SPC members | Read More »

Trumping globalisation & inequality.

Trumping globalisation & inequality.

Tony French. Will the presidency of Donald Trump herald the slowing down or even reversal of US social inequality? I doubt it. Highlighted awareness of the gross social inequality in the US clearly had him elected, however. The Donald has grandiloquently promised that, from ‘Day One’ of his presidency, he will “bring back our jobs”. […]

December 8th, 2016 | Posted in Economic issues,Feature,Global poverty,Politics,Recent articles by SPC members | Read More »

The new UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.

The new UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.

Gary Harkin. Antonio Guterres has recently been appointed the Secretary General designate of the UN. He hails from Portugal, was born in 1949 (aged 67), and has a strong background in public service and administration at the highest level. He has a reputation for advocacy and dialogue, and is fluent in Portuguese, English, French, and […]

October 29th, 2016 | Posted in Global poverty,Recent articles by SPC members | Read More »

Heartlessness versus homelessness.

Heartlessness versus homelessness.

Tony French. Over the last few months, I have been walking regularly at night down Swanston Street in the City. What is noticeable is the great number of people, invariably male, with blankets and bags sleeping rough in doorways and on the pavement. My initial reaction was, what a miserable place to doss for the […]

August 5th, 2016 | Posted in Church and Social Justice,Feature,Global poverty,Recent articles by SPC members | Read More »

Food insecurity: a view from the soup van.

Food insecurity: a view from the soup van.

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist.” Brazilian Archbishop Dom Helder Camara Among the various church and community groups helping support disadvantaged groups in Melbourne, the soup vans of the St Vincent de Paul Society have for over […]

August 5th, 2016 | Posted in Church and Social Justice,Feature,Global poverty,Recent articles by SPC members | Read More »